Posts tagged gluten free
Day 32: Palas de Rey to Ribadiso aka Pulpo Fresco

Upon leaving our ´hotel,´we located a bar to have coffee and zummo OJ.  It wasn´t raining until about 10 minutes into our trail.  Having a cold, this really put a damper on things (no pun intended).  Luckily we had stopped at a pharmacy were I was able to get some herbal medicine.  I was also able to get a refill on my prescriptions I had on me.  Why is the US Healthcare system as corrupt as it is?  For example, I got 30 Tramadol tablets for 5 euros without a prescription or insurance.  Must be nice, Europe.  Must be real nice. Unfortunately, no Z-pack without a prescription. 

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Day 30: Sarria to Portomarin aka Well, I'll be dammed

We decided to decline the €10 a person breakfast buffet that the hotel had to offer.  Instead we opted for coffee and gluten-free stale muffins for 2 euros each at nearby bar.  This AM was cold, and as we were leaving Sarria, I kept thinking to myself that I am sure this city has more to offer, and that we weren´t in a good mindset yesterday to enjoy it.

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Day 29: Fonfria to Sarria aka Zummo!

Our albergue may not have had any gluten-free breakfast options, but it did have a Zummo vending machine. Take note: Christmas/Hanukkah/Birthday wish-list only includes this vending machine. In all seriousness, we knew that real food was 12 km away, and that we couldn’t afford to skip out on two meals like we did yesterday since we were completing 23k today. Therefore, we sat for an all-American (ha) breakfast at a bar in Triscaterra, 12k in.

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Day 27: Villafranca de Bierzo to Las Herrerias aka Power's Out

All but two pilgrims had left by the time we had gone to the kitchen for our breakfast. The express coffee maker was not up to our standards of coffee that we had gotten used each morning at the various cafes we sat in. We were saddened by the sight of rain pouring outside, knowing that it would make for a long day. Starting off on the Camino, we got a good idea of how pretty Villafranca de Bierzo would be sans rain and fog. At the point of exiting the city, we had a choice of either passing under the seemingly narrow and treacherous tunnel or taking the long way around. We opted for the former. This was a good risk to take, as it resulted in us saving two miles of walking in the rain. I wouldn’t usually say this, but I was glad to walk parallel to the road today because of how much it was pouring. Luckily it wasn’t just road, but also nature (mountains, rivers, streams) keeping us company… And even better, no rocks.

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Day 26: Ponferrada to Villafranca de Bierzo aka "A farmer doesn't eat what he doesn't know"

I had some coffee, OJ and the rest of the gluten-free bread I was given for free yesterday. It was surprisingly not that cold outside and the weather report said no rain, but the gray colored clouds seemed to think otherwise. I don’t trust meteorologists.

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Day 25: Acebo to Ponferrada aka Two Paths

Our breakfast this morning made up for yesterday’s mediocre dinner, and it was included in our stay. The skater boy setting it up gave me an entire loaf of the gluten-free bread to-go (the one I really like here). We thought by 9:30 AM we would be the last to leave our albergue, but rather the family from Delaware was right ahead of us, finishing up their bfast upon our arrival. With only 13 miles to complete today, we figured there was time to spare. The descent down the mountain was steeper than expected, and we saw absolutely no pilgrims on the trail. There were times when we were questioning whether we were on the right path, then a yellow arrow would show up out of no where. There were also a couple of moments where we could hear gunshots from a distance.. Most likely hunters, we figured.

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Day 24: Rabanal to Acebo aka Mad Cow(s)

Once again, we were awoken by church bells at 7 AM (I’m glad they have not one, but three churches for a town of less than 50). Really though, how have people not made any complaints about this? Breakfast was five euros and I would’ve paid five euros to get back my untainted taste buds. I was initially stoked to hear that that they had gluten-free bread, but it turned out to be as old as the Roman remains in town. I swear it may, or may not have had mold on it. Luckily, I still had day-old toasted bread from Astorga yesterday that I saved in case of emergency. I suppose this was an emergency.

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Day 21: Leon to Hospital de Orbigo aka This Charming Man

I was surprised to wake up as late as 8:30 AM this morning, but I got the sense that I was trying to sleep something off. We bumped into a couple of pilgrims we knew yesterday, and all had a cold. This is why I’ve been dousing myself with Doterra’s OnGuard essential oil since I’ve been here, and I feel like it has helped some. We headed down for our last breakfast at the hotel. Their staff is really so affable. We grabbed a map to spot the location of the post office and a few other stores we wanted to hit up before heading out. So, who spends €140 mailing out postcards and souvenirs? Obviously, I do… Luckily the post office system is really organized. I grabbed my ticket (number 82) and had enough time to place everything in proper envelopes. The postman was sweet and patient, most likely because he knew how much I was spending. I justify it thinking it’s better than carrying it all on my back. After that, we headed to a few stores, including Mercadona, a supermarket known to have a gluten-free section. Stocked up on bread and pasta, all for €5. Such a steal! 

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Day 19: Sahugun to Leon aka “Sin dolor, no hay Camino”

At 6:30 AM we were awoken by the sound of loud church bells. I suppose it was time to rise for the The Last Breakfast... Ha! After packing up our belongings, we headed to the comedor, where we found Bridgette. She told us how the head nun yelled at her this morning for apparently leaving her bathroom light on all night, and thus wasting energy. “I don’t know how she knew I had left it on? I need it for when I use the restroom at night and can’t see.” We exchanged our own nun-run ins. I informed the nun I was allergic to gluten yesterday, so I had a banana and yogurt awaiting my arrival, while the others had plastic wrapped pastries. We paid €3 each for this feast, since we’re all told that nothing else would be open at this time (7:15 AM). Have I mentioned that sunrise isn’t until 8:30 AM here? So it's pretty dark when we begin walking.

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Day 17: Carrion de los Condes to Terradillos de los Templarios aka Alban's Four Fears

Dear blister gods, why do you hate me so? I’m writing this with bloodstained socks. We woke up early this AM and went straight to the to the grocery store, knowing that we wouldn’t have anything to eat for 17.5 km or 10 miles on today's camino. The woman working there was pretty rude. I asked about any gluten-free options, and she responded with a quick and sure ‘no.’ Even when I showed her the bag of cookies I found in one of the aisles that clearly stated ‘Gluten Free,’ she said they weren’t. My Greek mom, minutes after asked if she spoke any English, and again she responded with a quick 'no.’ My mom then asked her if she was a nice person, and she responded (with no surprise), 'no!’ My mom then said, “I already knew that.” I nearly peed my pants watching this scene before my eyes. I realized Spaniards might hate us (pilgrims). Bridgette (you will hear more about her later) told us this is due to pilgrims having a history of being rude and offensive and even knocking on doors at 6 AM to use villager’s restrooms. I’d probably be annoyed with us too.

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Day 15: Catrojeriz to Fromista aka Restart

It was nice to start the day off early, and I am feeling more like myself. But unfortunately our albergue didn’t have any gluten-free options for breakfast. We decided to get breakfast at a bar in town, but of course they were not open at 7:30 AM and it was 12 km to the next town. Oh well, I I thought... It will water for brekky. In addition to the lack of calories, we didn’t realize we would have to scale a huge hill. Karma for skipping out on walking 40k? I will say arriving at the top in time for the sunrise was something unbelievable. To top that off, there was a pop-up bar with coffee, bananas and other items. It was hosted by a guy named Javier, who speaks Greek! He overhead my mom and I talking (luckily we didn’t say anything too awful), and inquired within. He said he was confused because my mom looks Greek, but I apparently don’t? #someonepeedinmygenepool Anyway, he was a sweetheart. Turns out he had met his ex-girlfriend a few years back while traveling in Greece. They fell in love and he decided to move to Greece. He lived there for a year, but became homesick and had a bunch of projects going on here. So, he decided to end the relationship and head back to Spain. Now he has a Spanish gf.

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Day Nine: Azofra to Grañon aka Pilgrim or Tourist?

We woke up to a cold and damp day, and decided not to cook the food we had, and instead start the day early. We grabbed some coffee at a nearby cafe (€4) and walked 10k to the first town on today's Camino, Curueña, where there was a random golf course (first one I’ve seen). There we ate some breakfast at the golf club, where we met Gregory from Ireland and discussed the Syrian immigration situation. As we moved forward, it started to feel like Vegas, hot and dry. Before we knew it, we spotted Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which truly looked like the Vegas strip… A pyramid shaped mountain behind an oasis of a city. Luxor? On this road, we met a Latvian girl, who I’d seen before, that appeared to have a chip on her shoulder. Amongst other negative things she said, she mentioned that anyone who uses the backpack service isn’t a true ‘pilgrim,’ but better yet, just a tourist. Meanwhile, I’ve seen her using her smart phone at various cafes.

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Day Six: Estella to Los Arcos aka Wine Fountains!

Breakfast was great in our pension – They had fried eggs and gluten-free bread awaiting my taste buds. Turns out the super market in Estella has tons of GF options (see photo). Our goal for the AM was to eat, stop by the pharmacy for steroids and supportive braces and exchange some dinero at the bank. The first pharmacy we went to was not at all helpful, but we did buy a box Predisona (no prescription needed — €2.50). We decided to head to a different pharmacy (see photo) that was super helpful and found us a proper knee and ankle brace (€20 each), as well as electrolytes (€2.50 per packet). Electrolytes seem impossible to find here, so my recommendation is to bring a box if you ever do this. Ok, so the bank will only exchange $150.00 a day. We have decided the exchange rate isn’t too terrible at ATMs, that withdrawing money turns out to be a lot more convenient and less of a risk than carrying a wad of moola on you. But of course, it’s always important to carry cash on you, just in case. Another thing, the bank won’t exchange change, only dollar, dollar bills, y'all… Meh.

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Day Five: Puenta La Reina to Estella aka No mas albergues, por favor

No sleep last night. I mean, maybe 2 hours? Our room smelled of farts and BO. If that didn’t keep you up, it was the immensely loud snoring that ear plugs couldn’t cover. If you ever do the Camino, BRING EAR PLUGS. So two hours of sleep later, and prior to having to walk 15 miles to Estella, our ‘breakfast’ at the albergue was just as good as the sleep. A croissant, orange juice and coffee. I explained that I’m celiac (soy celiaca), and was offered an apple instead of a croissant...errrr. Being gluten free on the Camino is much easier than being vegan, but sometimes it sucks just as much. Especially when it’s too early for any markets to be open.

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Day Four: Pamplona to Puenta la Reina aka Running with the Bulls

We got some great sleep last night, thanks to the awesome hotel we stayed in. We decided to explore Pamplona this AM, because it’s Pamplona ! It’s a medium sized city, with a lot to offer. Something I noticed was a lot of cute hip dads with their babies... Machismo-ness (real word) is so last century. We got to eat at Bar Gaucho aka Pinxtos heaven for brunch (most are naturally gluten/dairy free). I believe my future ex-husband, Anthony Bourdain paid a visit there. Nonetheless, it was the most highly recommended place to dine. Each pinxto was roughly €3 each, completely worthwhile. Getting out of the city was a pain, as there was some sort of ‘Old Pamplona’ festival.

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Intro to Camino de Santiago Journal

Your future female Anthony Bourdain, except traveling solo on a budget... And not a chef. This was my blog's original tagline, until my mom decided to join me for the entire length of the pilgrimage. I wrote in my journal and posted blog entries onto Tumblr everyday for my family and friends to follow along, despite any lethargy or physical pain for the kms of walking.

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